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February 22/29, 2012

Neuron Number in Children With Autism—Reply

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: NIH-UCSD Autism Center of Excellence, University of California San Diego, La Jolla (ecourchesne@ucsd.edu).

JAMA. 2012;307(8):783-784. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.192

In Reply: Drs Anghelescu and Dettling raise the question about how the autistic children came to the attention of the brain and tissue banks. Most commonly, autism cases come to brain banks in 1 of 3 ways: (1) families may register premortem to have their child's brain donated to a brain and tissue bank upon the child's death; (2) cases are identified as possibly having autism by a medical examiner based on information from the family, who then contacts the brain bank; or (3) at the time of death, parents contact a brain bank to make arrangements for donation. In all cases in our study, the brain and tissue banks followed postmortem procedures to determine a final diagnosis.